Tag Archives: MFT

Maine Farmland Trust Presents Agrarian Acts: a celebration of agriculture through music

Head up north for Maine Farmland Trust’s 2nd Annual Agrarian Acts concert!

This year we’re on the Eagle View Ranch (formerly Varnum Farms) 1769 River Rd, Sebec with The Mallett Brothers Band, featuring a local dinner made by Spruce Mill Farm and Kitchen. Cash bar with beer and wine.  Tickets:  Adults, $30., kids 6-15 $15., and kids under 5 free.  Ticket sales are now OPEN! Buy tickets HERE or give us a call at 207-338-6575.

Bring your own blanket & chairs

Maine Farming and Our Future, with Amanda Beal

Amanda Beal is President and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust, a member-powered organization that protects farmland, supports farmers, and advances the future of farmland. She co-authored “A New England Vision,” which researched Maine and New England food production on land and sea in order to assess productivity and future expansion. The daughter of a Maine dairy farmer, Amanda will discuss her vision for the future of Maine and New England’s farm and food system.

The talk is part of the Summer Talk series at Merryspring Nature Center, 35 Conway Rd, Camden, Maine. Sponsored by the First National Bank.

Free for Merryspring Nature Center members.

Forever Farm Party at Balfour Farm!

Join us at Balfour Farm in Pittsfield, Thursday, August 10 5-8pm, as we celebrate the growing success of farmland protection in Maine! We’ll have tasty food, and local beer + wine (and non-alcoholic drinks, too!). Listen to music, see the farm and learn about MFT’s work to protect Maine farmland.

Free! All are welcome! Bring the whole family!


Forever Farm Party in Arundel

Join Maine Farmland Trust and Hardscrabble Farm, 475 Mountain Rd, Arundel to celebrate the growing success of farmland protection in Maine!

We’ll have tasty farm burgers, salads, and local beer + wine (and non-alcoholic drinks, too!). Listen to folk/bluegrass/old time duo OldHat, see the farm and learn about MFT’s work to protect Maine farmland.

Free! All are welcome! Bring the whole family!

It takes all of us

“If your goal is to protect the farmland and keep it in the family or have it available to someone who wants to farm it, I don’t think you can beat Maine Farmland Trust,” Dan Curran told us last summer.



Dan has farmed his family’s land in Sabattus his entire life.

His parents ran a dairy farm on the 91-acre property, and now Dan raises beef and lamb and sells hay.  Dan always knew that he wanted to work as a farmer. He always loved tending animals, describing himself as more of an animal person than a people person, and felt that “being close to the land was important.”

“Other people might make better money but they sacrifice being outside and working with the land.  Being outside makes you feel alive, and that connection to the land makes you feel your humanity.”

In 2016, Daniel Curran protected his farm using MFT’s Purchased Easement Program.  “I believe that farmland needs to be saved, one way or another.”

Farmland protection takes all of us. It takes farmers like Dan Curran who have the vision, patience and determination to see that their land stays in farming and is accessible for the next generation of farmers. And it takes you– the members and supporters of Maine Farmland Trust– to help make it possible for farmers to protect their land.

Maine’s farmland is in transition.  Over the next decade, over 400,000 acres of farmland could change hands as folks like Dan Curran retire.  Purchasing easements to protect farmland, especially in areas with rampant development pressure, can be expensive.  But if we all chip in, we can grow the future of farming in Maine, acre by acre, and ensure that we will have the farmland to feed us for decades to come.

We hope you can join us as a member during our New Member Month this July and help make this vision a reality for Maine.

Two land trusts and the town of Acton rally to protect 243 acres on Goat Hill

Three Rivers Land Trust (3RLT) Maine Farmland Trust (MFT), and the Town of Acton collaborated to protect 243 acres of fields, apple orchards and forestland on Goat Hill in Acton.  The orchards have produced apples for the wholesale market for 80 years, and the hilltop has long been a cherished destination for year-round and seasonal residents of the region.

“This complicated project has been three years in the making, but it is hard to imagine a better outcome,” said Adam Bishop, Farmland Protection Program Director at Maine Farmland Trust.

When the former owners of the property decided to sell, many local residents worried that the property, with its expansive views, would be subdivided for residential development. Goat Hill is one of the highest elevations in Acton, and offers stunning 360-degree views of nearby lakes, the Presidential Range and Mt. Washington to the west, and to the ocean to the east. 3RLT, MFT and the Town worked together to ensure that the property would remain in agriculture and remain an important scenic site for the local community.

The majority of the fields and orchards have been divided between two new farm owners. One buyer from the local community will restore the former pick-your-own apple orchard that he worked in every summer as a teenager growing up in the area.  The second buyer will expand the orchards to produce apples for a hard cider operation. Both farm parcels are now protected by conservation easements, which will ensure this productive land remains available for farming and forestry into the future.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have finally completed the purchase phase of this project,” said Jean Noon, President of 3RLT. “Goat Hill is one of those truly spectacular places that take your breath away.  Thank you Acton and Maine Farmland Trust for being such great partners!”

However, the protection of the orchard parcel was dependent on Three Rivers Land Trust, in cooperation with the Town, acquiring the summit of Goat Hill which will become a local park.  The successful purchase of the scenic summit parcel was made possible, in large part by the Town of Acton (pop. 6,000) passing its first-ever bond issue for conservation, and contributing $25,000 from earnings of the Town Forest. Many generous donations from local year round and seasonal residents supported the Land Trust’s contribution.  In addition, the Town expects to receive a federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to assist with the purchase and the construction of a parking area and universally accessible trail to the hilltop.

“The town of Acton is very fortunate that Three Rivers Land Trust (3RLT) has a passion and foresight to preserve special land when the opportunity arises,” said Elise Miller, first select person for the Town of Acton. “When the taxpayers of Acton voted in June of 2016 to approve the purchase of Goat Hill, partnered with 3RLT, it was a win/win result. A spectacular piece of land is now protected and open to the public for mountain and lake views while recreating with family and friends.”

Both MFT and 3RLT look forward to the restoration of the pick your own orchard, a cider tasting room, and the development of the public park and trail, all of which will ensure that, in the future, Goat Hill will remain a popular and agricultural destination in western York County.

Office Party & Photo Exhibit


Come kick off First Friday Art Walk with our 2nd Annual Office Party in Portland! We’ll have some light snacks & local brews on hand, and a new photo exhibit, Feeding Maine, on display throughout the office.

Feeding Maine is a traveling photo exhibit documenting some of the many people working for change in our communities across the state, with the hope that these efforts will continue to grow into a resilient food system that serves all Mainers.

The exhibit is a collaboration between Maine Farmland Trust and Good Shepherd Food Bank and features photos by Brendan Bullock with captions by Annie Aviles.

Our Portland office is located at 48 Union Wharf (big red building, 2nd floor). All are welcome—please feel free to invite friends!

For more information, call 338-6575
or email caroline@mainefarmlandtrust.org

427 acres of farmland protected in New Gloucester

On June 30, 2017, MFT purchased a conservation easement on a 427-acre farm on North Pownal Road in New Gloucester. Forrest Waterhouse, was born in the historic farmhouse on the property in 1920 and passed away 96 years later in the same home.  His wife Ruth maintained the iconic fences along the road. By selling an easement, the current generation fulfilled the older generation’s desire for the property to always remain as a farm.

The easement area includes 99 acres of open land, and 190 acres of farmland soils. In addition to the farmhouse, the property includes two large barns and a number of storage buildings.

The Waterhouse Farm was operated for many years as a dairy and transitioned to a beef cattle operation in the 1970s. Much of the beef is currently sold wholesale to the Boston area, and they intend to transition to selling more to local markets in the near future. The farm manager, Larry Peaco, who has been working on the property for over three decades, has a strong forestry background and manages the 328 acres of woods.

The property provides scenic views from North Pownal Road, which bisects the farm. Because of this and its location in a rapidly developing area, the agricultural easement  includes an Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value (OPAV), which is an extra measure intended to ensure the farm remains in the ownership of an active farmer. Funding for the easement came from MFT and local land trust partner Royal River Conservation Trust, who will hold the easement on this farm. “The Waterhouse Farm is an iconic piece of Maine scenery, and lies between two of the Royal River Conservation Trust’s primary focus areas for land conservation — Pisgah Hill in New Gloucester, and Runaround Pond in Durham,” said Alan Stearns, executive director of RRCT.   “We’re working hard to save, and to connect, some of these large unfragmented landscape blocks, to keep woodlots and farms productive while also retaining habitat connections.  It’s encouraging to see the Waterhouse Farm thriving, with significant new investments that will help modernize the operations.”

Maine Fare: Food for Thought Dinner

Join us at the historic Bath Freight Shed for a unique dinner led by chef Sam Hayward of Fore Street.

The dinner is the finale to the month of hands-on workshops celebrating Maine’s bounty and the people who grow, raise, harvest and prepare our food. The evening includes a cocktail hour cider and cheese tasting, followed by a seated meal of four courses prepared by Hayward and a team of guest chefs, including Nate Nadeau, Fore Street’s Chef de Cuisine, Josh Potocki of 158 Pickett Street Cafe and The Bread & Butter Catering Co., Eloise Humphrey and Daphne Comasky of Salt Pine Social and El Camino, and Ben Hasty of Thistle Pig.  The menu will reflect Maine’s traditional foodways and the myriad connections between land and sea — the interplay at the heart of Maine’s food culture, past and present.

But this dinner isn’t just about a beautiful and delicious meal. At this “Food for Thought” dinner guests will engage in a discussion-based Jeffersonian-style dinner party. Each table will have a topic to discuss related to Maine’s food system, and all guests at the table will participate in conversation around that topic. The evening is designed to encourage deep conversation that takes full advantage of the different perspectives and collective wisdom of the dinner guests.

MFT members receive 10% discount on tickets.

Check out the other Maine Fare events happening throughout the month!




Want to become a member or renew your membership?

Maine Fare: Harvesting the River

Hop on Damariscotta River Cruises boat to tour the Damariscotta River. From the water we’ll explore the connections between land and sea, people and place, and learn about the river harvest, past and present. We’ll move downstream with the folks from Damariscotta River Association and Dana Morse of Maine Sea Grant, and learn about the historic shell middens, traditional uses for alewives, and the growing number of seaweed, oyster and other sea farms on the river. The boat will stop to visit Mook Sea Farm and other oyster and seaweed farms. The tour will finish with a oyster tasting, paired with local beers!


MFT members receive 10% discount on tickets.

Check out the other Maine Fare events happening throughout the month!


Want to become a member or renew your membership?

new member month!